Unconscious Bias, Sad but True

As a non-monogamous woman, there are some ways where experience things differently than many people.

Most of the poly men I know are pretty strongly in the feminist camp on most issues. If they don’t call themselves feminist, it doesn’t matter. Why? Because actions speak louder than words, and most of them treat the women around them as equals.

Oh, there are douchebags in any group, and the poly community has their own. Just like any other community, we work to keep each other safe.

But, that doesn’t mean that we poly types are necessarily free of sexism or other isms. In fact, many times it is the unconscious bias that trips most of us up.

I had a recent conversation that included the idea that I would not be “allowed” to be poly if I dated someone local to me.

And the person that said it has shown time and again that he views me as an equal.

I understood the concept he was expressing, so I did not jump on his wording, as it was germaine to our subject. But I have been thinking about it.

No one “allows” me anything in a relationship unless I give them the power to do so. And frankly, I’m very reluctant to give anyone that kind of power over me.

I’m very clear when I meet someone new about the fact that I’m a polyamorous woman. I’m very clear to prospective dates that yes, I do have a boyfriend already. If they can’t handle those two things, then I send them on their way.

Hell, the guys who pull the “you just haven’t found the right guy yet” I pretty much boot out of my life so quickly their head spins.

It’s not like this is a phase. I’ve had this lifestyle in mind since puberty, even when I wasn’t dating or when I didn’t even know the word.

But it’s a sign of unconscious bias. And one that our society seems to teach everyone, not just men.

I’m the captain of my own life. No one gets to make decisions about my life except me. Not anymore.

I’ll ask for advice, but I may or may not take it. It’s not that I think the person giving advice is stupid or “wrong,” it’s that they may not know all the facts, not because I’m hiding them, but because some issues can be difficult to articulate easily.

I don’t need a man’s permission to be poly. And I don’t need anyone’s approval of my choices.

I am who I am, and dating me means you deal with all of who I am.

I gave my ex the choice to be monogamous or not simply because there was no one else at the time that I had any interest in dating. While his initial answer was hell no, he changed his mind 2 weeks later.

It’s not ever going to repeat its self. I like who I am, and poly is part of that.

So no, there is no guy out there that can make me turn my back on myself anymore. Choices have consequences. The consequence of refusing to be in a poly relationship with me is that I walk away from you. It’s that simple.

Categories: Gender Inequities, Non-Monogamy | Tags: , | Leave a comment

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